LELY 21, IMMOKALEE 6
Lely 7 7 7 0 — 21
Imm 0 0 6 0 — 6
L — Jean 23 pass from O’Regan (Bedolla kick) 5:36
L — Hall 1 run (Bedolla kick) 0:22
Imm — Fuller 24 pass from McSwain (kick failed) 5:35
L — Jhony Faustin 65 punt return (Adolfo Bedolla kick) 3.8
IMMOKALEE — It was an odd recipe, yet victory was sweet for the Lely Trojans in their 21-6 win over Immokalee on Friday night.
Under the direction of interim coach Dave Miller, Lely survived three lost fumbles, two interceptions and two mishandled kicks to get its first win of the season.
The winning formula included the return of senior running back Darion Hall, whose impact in the first half set the tone for the final outcome. Hall, the Miami recruit, returned to the lineup after being suspended for disciplinary reasons the week before.
“I think when I got in there tonight, I felt I could move around some and find some openings,” Hall said. “Then the offensive line started to put it together. I’m proud of those guys the most. We’re happy. It means a lot. It’s been a long time since we’ve beaten Immokalee on their field.”
Miller — selected to lead the Trojans when head coach Steve Pricer resigned a week earlier after a disagreement with school administrators — breathed a deep sigh.
“It’s a relief, probably,” Miller said of the victory. “With all the adversity these kids have been through the last few days, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Miller said Pricer, a popular member of the Lely coaching staff for more than three decades, was in the back of his team’s mind.
“Coach Pricer is like a father figure to a lot of these guys,” he said. “He bled orange and black.”
Lely’s game plan was revealed on the Trojans’ first possession: let workhorse Hall establish the running game. Hall carried the ball six straight times to the Indians’ 23-yard line before senior quarterback Sean O’Regan hooked up with Ben Jean for a touchdown pass on first down with 5:36 to go in the opening period.
Late in the second period, Lely got good field position when Immokalee gambled and tried for a first down on a fourth-and-6 at its own 44 rather than punt. Kovan McSwain found a wide-open receiver for what would have been a first down and maybe even a touchdown, but the pass bounced off the wideout’s shoulder pads and fell incomplete.
Lely got it at the 44 with four minutes left in the half and scored with 22.9 seconds remaining when Hall went in from the 1-yard line.
“It was one of those calls,” Indians coach Israel Gallegos said. “Maybe we should have punted. But we called the right play. We’ve got to make a play.”
In the first half alone, Hall carried it 21 times for 123 yards. He failed to touch the ball on only five rushing plays in the first half.
Hall appeared to hurt his left ankle with 3:26 to go in the third period, and Willie Pugh filled in until the midway through the fourth, when Hall returned. Yet Hall carried only three times the second half. Hall finished with 129 yards on 24 carries.
“I’m fine,” Hall said afterward with his left ankle wrapped in ice. “I’ll be ready next week for Golden Gate. We’re comin’ after ’em.”
Immokalee was held to just 44 total yards in the first two quarters.
In the third quarter, a muffed punt gave Immokalee good field position and momentum at the Lely 35. Demandre Fuller hauled in a 24-yard pass from McSwain with 5:35 to go. Immokalee’s extra point attempt was no good.
After a Lely fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Immokalee appeared to pull even on a 35-yard pass from McSwain to Roderick Talbert just seconds later. But a holding penalty wiped out the critical score.
Lely’s Jhony Faustin gave the Trojans some cushion on a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown with 3.8 seconds left in the wild third quarter.
Miller said Hall addressed the team during practice this past week to clear the air.
“He served his time,” Miller said. “He’s a great player and just has to work on the mental side and maturity. He took a lot of good strides this week.”
With Lely guilty of seven turnovers, Gallegos expected his team to win.
“We just had no rhythm of offense,” he said. “That’s my fault. That’s my job. We just have to work harder and do a better job.”
Next week, Lely visits Golden Gate in a Class 3A-District 12 matchup, while Immokalee plays at Gulf Coast in a non-district showdown.
PREP FOOTBALL: WEEK 3
- Video: Lely Takes Immokalee 21-6
- Video: Naples beats Gulf Coast 21-7
- Video: RAW VIDEO: Barron Collier vs. Palmetto Ridge
- Video: RAW VIDEO: Naples vs. Gulf Coast
- Video: Gulf Coast High band 09/18
- Video: Naples High Band 09/18
- Photos: Prep Football: Naples vs. Gulf Coast
- Photos: Prep Football: Barron Collier vs. Palmetto Ridge
- Photos: Prep football: Lely at Immokalee
- Photos: Prep football: First Baptist vs. Highlands
- Photos: Prep football: First Baptist ceremony
- Your Photos: Prep football: Barron Collier fans at Palmetto Ridge game
- Your Photos: Prep football: Naples High band 09/18/09
- Your Photos: Prep football: Naples fans vs. Gulf Coast
- Your Photos: Prep football: Palmetto Ridge band 09/18/2009
- Your Photos: Prep football: Palmetto Ridge fans during Barron Collier game
- Your Photos: Prep football: Gulf Coast High fans
- Your Photos: Prep football: Barron Collier band -- 9-18-2009
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